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date: 26 September 2020

Anderson, Marianlocked

  • Max de Schauensee
  • , revised by Alan Blyth


(b Philadelphia, Feb 27, 1897; d Portland, OR, April 8, 1993). American contralto. After graduating from South Philadelphia High School, she studied in her native city with Giuseppe Boghetti but was refused entry to the Philadelphia Music Academy on racial grounds. Having won first prize in a competition sponsored by the New York PO, she appeared as a soloist with the orchestra at Lewisohn Stadium on 27 August 1925. After further study with Frank La Forge, she made a number of concert appearances in the USA, and her European début took place at the Wigmore Hall, London, in 1930. She was subsequently lionized throughout Europe, winning from Toscanini the reported tribute: ‘A voice like yours is heard only once in a hundred years’. By then a mature artist, Anderson gained high critical acclaim for her first appearance at Town Hall in New York (1935) and then undertook further tours, across the USA and in Europe. Because of a lack of stage experience – and therefore confidence – she refused offers to sing in opera, but such discs as Delilah’s ‘Softly awakes my heart’ show what might have been, and became bestsellers. In ...

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